"How on Earth do you make milk chocolate with NO MILK?!?!"
Honestly, the #1 question I’m asked... Well, to answer this question, let's first talk a little about Milk.
Milk is an amazing product! If you wanna take the cold, "brass tacks" , dictionary approach, milk is defined as: the white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals for the nourishment of their young.
As a chef, and self-proclaimed "food nerd", I think milk is fascinating. Where else can you find a stable emulsion (mix of fat and water), full of sugars, proteins, and minerals all packed in to one?
Interestingly enough, milk fat is one of the most complex fats found in nature. When added to chocolate, milk fat solidifies at a different rate than cocoa butter (the fat from the cocoa bean). This unusual combination causes the melting point of the final chocolate product to be lower than either of the two fat components (milk fat & cocoa butter) within it.
OK, whew... nerd time over! So, what does all this mean for you?
Well, the short version is: Making quality dairy-free (& vegan!) "milk" chocolate is tough.
… Also, what do you call dairy-free milk chocolate??? “Mylk”?, “Melk”?….who knows!?!
There are plenty of aspiring chocolate makers out there who simply find a decent recipe for chocolate (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Chocolate), substitute powdered milk for something plant-based like Soy Beans, Cashew Nuts, Almonds, or Coconut, and think they're off to the races. Unfortunately, many times, the fats in each one of these ingredients behave very differently than milk fat, and the resulting "milk" or Mylk chocolates don't look, smell, feel, or taste anything like their typical dairy-counterparts. (too soft, won't temper, bad flavor, unusual color...etc.)
I, on the other hand, spend countless hours balancing each-and-every component of my milk-replacers (from sweetness, to fat content, to how it affects the way the chocolate melts) to make a chocolate as creamy, tasty, and luscious as traditional milk chocolate without a single ingredient that comes from an animal.
My goal is, and always has been, to produce THE BEST (VEGAN) CHOCOLATE IN THE UNIVERSE!
Thanks for supporting my dream, and as always, stay tuned… There's more to come =)